land of the giants

tiny and tall

People might think there is no cross-over between geeks and fashionistas, but those stuffy stereotypes are vanishing. We’re all digital and cool these days.

By Irish standards I’m almost a giantess, even though I’m not quite 6 feet in my bare feet. Most people see me wearing some kind of heeled shoe so generally I’m hitting into the six footer territory.

Behold my new sandals, made by FLY London, in which I become even taller than normal. When I was younger I used to try to lessen my height. Now I embrace my tallness and am not afraid of heels any more (well, I’m not talking about stilettos, which are instruments of torture).

I’ve been walking around the house in these beauties saying fee-fi-fo-fum, and baffling the dog more than usual.

In a fit of madness I decided to photograph my two Android phones beside my new sandals. On the left is my old Sony Xperia X10 Mini, and to its right is its brighter, cooler, giant cousin, the Sony Xperia Arc. (And let me tell you this was a tricky photograph to pull off, I’m a little sore from the stretching.)

I got delivery of the Arc just yesterday, and holding it in my hand is like wearing these wedge sandals: everything is better.

As much as I loved my dinky little Xperia Mini it had a number of problems. First it shipped with Android 1.6, and when upgraded to 2.1 suffered a great deal. It was patched about 8 weeks ago and that helped, but it’s been frustratingly slow and limiting. In particular it tended to drop a WiFi signal when it was in sleep mode and had to be reminded to scan for the signal when it woke up.  It’s doziness was rather irritating since it meant the Mini  would default to a 3G signal while a perfectly good WiFi beam was aching for use.

The Arc has a 4.2 inch screen, a sweet processor, a 8.1 mega-pixel camera and it’s running Android 2.3. The last bit is the winner, because the latest iterations of Android have been the business. It’s really nice to see Flash working properly on websites on my mobile phone, for instance.

Setting it up was relatively easy, I’ve done this before, it’s just remembering to download all the apps that I use on a regular basis.

The main reason I stuck with Sony – and this is the third phone I’ve bought by them in a row – is that they put fantastic cameras in their mobile phones. This is still a failing with some of its contemporaries, and for me it’s something that matters.

I haven’t had much time to use the camera, but so far so good (results below) although it has its quirks.

Battery life also seems to be improved, and I’ll probably get two days out of this if I’m not using it heavily (which is pretty good for a smart phone).

I’m still in awe with how amazing these devices are to carry around and use. Even after a year of using an Android phone I haven’t lost my love of it.

Quite recently I was able to show my mother the entire first issue of Róisín Dubh on my tiny Xperia Mini, which was fetching the images from a cloud server via a WiFi signal.

It was fecking magic!

Apple blossoms via Sony Arc

I’ve just started playing around with Google Voice Actions, which works for some things, but not for others, but in concept is fantastic. I can’t wait for it to evolve further. You will need Android 2.2 on your phone to give it a spin.

Upgrade or die (of geek lust), is the mantra of this century. And remember: be cool!